WhatsApp design sensibilities make it such a lucrative interface. It’s adaptable, lightweight, simple to use, intuitive and makes speed its underlying ethos—precisely the type of attributes consumers salivate over.
By all measures, WhatsApp rules as the indisputed messaging app king. As of July 2019, upwards of 1.6 billion users are using the conversational platform on a monthly basis. Given that 3 billion people use messaging apps in total, that puts WhatsApp’s market share at 53 percent, a healthy partition for businesses both small and global 500-sized. Its closest competitor clocks in at 1.3 billion users. That competitor, Facebook Messenger, can hardly be called a rival, however, as it’s owned by the same parent company, and there are explicit plans in place to unify the services.
A Look At WhatsApp’s Design Superiority
“Tapping into WhatsApp has had a big impact on our business and customers, with lots of potential yet to be explored. The delivery rate, engagement, and ease of integrations can’t be compared to other channels,” says Wahyu Saputra, Head of Product, Customer Facing at Sale Stock.
Sale Stock is not alone in its preference. The e-commerce company Flipkart, budget airliner Iberia, shopping platform Wish, and Indonesia’s oldest bank Bank BRI are just a handful of companies who’ve made WhatsApp their preferential communication platform. And the reasons are five-fold. As Charlie Deets, the former Lead Product Designer for both WhatsApp and Messenger, illustrates on Medium, five values make up the core of the messenger’s design principles:
“(1) The interface should feel native to the device the person is using
(2) The app should be lightweight and require as little storage as possible
(3) The interface should be simple
(4) User actions and animations should be quick to respond
(5) Features should provide obvious utility so they require little introduction.”
While Deets refrains from calling WhatsApp the superior messaging platform for B2C communications, for obvious reasons, his message is clear. When it comes to user-friendliness, WhatsApp reigns supreme.
Enhancing Your Chatbot With WhatsApp Design
Not every WhatsApp bot is—nor should it be—created equal. Some bots prioritize lead generation over customer support, others value marketing and promotions over all else. The best ones tend to treat all of the above on equal standing. Additionally, your respective industry will sway execution. Iberia, for its part, allows customers of the airline to use a WhatsApp bot for check-in purposes. Naturally, a fast-casual restaurant chain would find such a function quite useless.
But while defining a bot’s central functions is imperative, and so, often time-consuming and complicated, prototyping and user testing need not be. Tools like Botsociety make building chatbots for WhatsApp a painless enterprise, allowing users to focus primarily on the crafting of bot personas and conversations. In just a handful of clicks, four to be precise, you can build a bot geared for WhatsApp specifically, before ever needing to involve any engineers.
Given the rapid proliferation of chatbots for businesses, time is of the essence. And you’ll need every competitive edge to seize the booming WhatsApp user market.
Also published on Medium.